Students at Chase Terrace Technology College’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths) after-school club have been at school late, often not leaving until 6:30pm, up-skilling themselves in the electronics. They have been supported by three members of the Stafford Amateur Radio Club, who being retired, have given their time freely to pass on their invaluable knowledge and infectious enthusiasm. The group has been supported ,both financially and through the provision of electronic components by two local companies: Valyou Recruitment (who specialise in the engineering sector); and ATP Electronics Development (who ‘reverse engineer’ electronics for ‘marque’ vehicles).
Distinctively, this project work has also involved the students’ parents, who have enjoyed working alongside their children. Projects completed so far are: building an astable multivibrator (a circuit that causes two LED lights to turn on/off alternately) and constructing an electronics circuit that sets off an alarm when a fridge/freezer door is left open for too long, preventing food from spoiling. Future planned projects include: building a radio; and designing a circuit to warn a farmer when might be the best time to water their crops.
Secondary school settings often lack the closer contact with parents that primary settings have. The club is an opportunity to do something quite special in bringing together students, industry and parents for a very positive common purpose in sharing new skills and learning from each other. The students have learnt and accomplished a great deal already and we can’t wait to see where they and their parents will take this. This relationship between industry and lifelong learning is something that the Stephen Sutton Multi Academy Trust is very keen to continue to grow.
Gary Mulvey (SSMAT Teaching and Learning Consultant) / James Tennant (CTTC STEAM Club Leader)